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India vs New Zealand 1st Test Playing 11: Will hosts play 3 spinners in Kanpur?

India Playing 11 vs New Zealand 1st Test match: Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane confirmed that Shreyas Iyer will make his debut in the match. Will India opt for three spinners in Kanpur Test?

Shreyas Iyer will make his debut in India’s first Test against New Zealand (PTI Photo)

The IPL is over, T20 World Cup 2021 is over, a T20I series versus New Zealand under a new captain is also over, it’s time for Test cricket now. Virat Kohli has decided to take a break and return for the second Test in Mumbai as Ajinkya Rahane – the stand-in captain, whose place has been under constant scrutiny in recent times, is set to lead the team.

KL Rahul suffered a thigh injury and has headed to the NCA and the likes of Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Rohit Sharma have been rested for the 2-Test series, India’s first in the format since the incomplete 5-match series against England.

Rahane has already confirmed a debutant in Shreyas Iyer. That means Suryakumar Yadav might have to wait for his debut in international red-ball cricket. In the absence of Rahul and Rohit, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal are set to open against the World Test champions.

Vice-captain Cheteshwar Pujara will retain his third spot after a couple of good outings in England. Shreyas might have a go at the number fourth spot in the absence of Kohli. Rahane, experienced wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, and R Ashwin are expected to follow the Mumbai right-handed.

If India opts to go with 2 pacers — Mohammed Siraj and Ishant Sharma, they should be the first choice. India played with three pacers in the T20Is. Going by that template, there could be a toss-up between Umesh Yadav and Prasidh Krishna. If not, India will bring in Axar Patel, who will provide an extra cushion for the team with both the bat and ball.

India’s Predicted Squad For 1st Test vs New Zealand: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane (C), Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj

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